Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Undercover Eats: Grass Fed restaurant {Bucktown}

Undercover Eats centers around sharing local-to-Chicago eateries and restaurants that feature whole foods, organically and locally grown foods and foods raised with integrity. Looking for a place to dine that fits that {lofty} bill? Look no further!

One of the toughest things about our journey toward eating whole foods and foods that have been raised with integrity has centered around eating out. Even in the super spread of Chicago and the suburbs, restaurants that feature whole foods, organic foods and/or food raised with integrity line are far and few in between so we've taken largely to eating at home and cooking our own meals.

But sometimes mom and dad need a date night or the family needs a family date night where the parents don't have to cook and everyone can just relax, eat and enjoy dinner and conversation.

For those nights, there's Grass Fed in Bucktown. {I suspect that if I worked or lived in the Bucktown area instead of out here in the suburbs, Grass Fed would also be there for brunch and lunch!}

The only restaurant in Chicago to feature meats that are solely pasture-raised, Grass Fed lives up to its name featuring main dishes of steak and chicken dinners served with hand-cut fries and homemade bread but also wows by offering a smattering of delicious contrasting flavors in the side dishes.

{Not only does the steak come from pasture-raised cows {Wisconsin}, but the chicken dishes feature chickens that have been raised on pasture, too. How awesome! Animals raised locally and fed the right foods!}

The weekend before Christmas, while on our way from the northern suburbs down to Champaign, my little family stopped to check out Grass Fed. And the whole family {including the picky-pants eaters, ages 3 and 5} enjoyed dinner. And drinks. And dessert.

The owner introduced himself to our family and shared a little bit about his passion for bringing locally and rightfully raised food to patrons, and then he asked us if we were adventurous eaters. We said sure, aside from dairy for me, and he had the chefs whip up a most mouth-watering meal for our family of four.


Here's what the four of us feasted on:
*a cold brussels sprout salad in a delicious vinagrette dressing for an appetizer
*a steak dinner and a chicken dinner with hand-cut fries and salads
*a side of diced butternut squash with beef bacon
*a side of curried cauliflower
*a Bucktown Mule {for me}
*a Stout beer for John
*A kiddie cocktail for G.
*Butterscotch pudding with salted caramel ice cream
While everything was well prepared and quite delicious, I thought the real showstopper was the Butternut Squash with beef bacon with its sweet and savory flavors and my drink, the Bucktown Mule.

UntitledJohn's favorite dish was the Brussels Sprout Salad, and I totally understood why after the first bite. Tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing and garnished with tea-poached raisins and almonds, it was a light but dazzling appetizer.

When I asked our waitress if there was something on the menu I couldn't leave without trying, she cited the Bucktown Mule. Now, normally, I'm not a big fan of alcoholic drinks or drinks other than water or tea in general, but I could not get over the dynamic flavor of the Mule. Featuring real ginger {not just flavor}, the mule is made of all things tasty: fresh lime juice, ginger beer and apple-infused vodka. It's one of the few drinks I'd ever order while dining out at any restaurant.

The boys most loved the steak and the hand-cut fries; while we enjoyed them, too, John and I pretty much could have just ordered one steak dinner and several sides of the Curried Cauliflower and Butternut Squash and left completely satisfied. Really. Both the steak and chicken {topped with capers!} were flavorful and perfectly prepared, but the sides were spectacularly rich boasting both savory and sweet tastes!

The ambiance of the restaurant was lovely and decorated in a shabby-chic style, but it wasn't so lavish that I was afraid to bring the children inside. The tables were accented with the soft glow of candlelight, and the decor included beautifully canned foods in mason jars. I peeked out the back door while our oldest was in the bathroom, and promptly decided John and I would be back for a date night sans kiddos on the patio when the weather warmed.

John agreed.

And when we return sans kiddos, I'll probably go wild and order two Bucktown Mules.

Undercover Eats Highlights:
-Features pasture-raised meats
-Features locally and/or organically grown foods
-Features local brews
-Priced moderately for high food quality
-Perfect for a date night, but child friendly
-Juices extracted on site
-Emphasis on natural flavors for sauces and drinks

Connect with Grass Fed on Facebook

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this review. The owner kindly gifted us our meal in exchange for writing a review. I obliged because how could I NOT spread the word about a restaurant that serves pasture-raised meats and locally grown food!?
Do you have a restaurant in the Chicagoland area that you think should be featured on Undercover Eats? Contact me at HyacynthWorth{at}yahoo{dot}com. I'm happy to spread the word about local eateries that focus on healthy food and food integrity.